Reading has always been an escape for me. Ever since I was a little girl, I could always be caught with a book in my hand. I cannot tell you the first-ever book that I fell in love with, because there are just too many and it is a blur, but I can tell you when my love for reading began.
When I was four years old, my family was insistent on me learning how to read. My mom and sister read me books at bedtime after my relentless pestering, but I wanted to be able to read when I wanted to, not when they wanted to read to me. And so, one afternoon, my sister sat down with me to begin the journey of learning how to read. She began by reading me Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, a childhood staple for many new to reading. I was immediately enthralled by this story of a little dog who just did not want to go to sleep. I could relate to that, as I always wanted to stay up into the wee hours of the night as many children do. My sister would read a line to me and then ask me to repeat it back to her. After a few rounds of this and completing the book, she let me take a turn at reading it by myself. Pretty soon, I was reading it word for word back to her. She was amazed at how quickly I caught on, and she ran to tell the news to my parents. Come to find out, I did not really learn to read that day. I simply memorized the words and as soon as my dad asked me to read the pages out of order, it became a lot harder. Although, I worked on reading every day after that and finally got the hang of it by the time I was five.
Throughout elementary school, my favorite activity was getting to go to the library. We would have it once a week and get to sit around the carpet listening to a story. At the end of the class, we would get to check out our very own books to read. I took advantage of this and grabbed as many books as I could to take home to read or to read when I finished my work early at school. This love for books followed me to middle school and even to high school. During junior year of high school in an AP English class, I realized that books were more than just a hobby for me. I enjoyed diving into literature and writing essays far more than my other class members. I was inspired by my teacher and decided from that day on, I would major in English when I went to college.
In doing so, I have faced limitless questions about what I will do with a degree in English. My response is always the same, “I want to do book publishing and editing.” I have wanted to work in the publishing field for a few years now, because I want to have an active role in publishing and get to be a part of the process of books in general. I have noticed that everyone’s initial reaction is to ask if I am going to be a teacher. While I did think about it for a period of time, I know that there are so many things to do with a degree in English beyond teaching. One thing I have done to make the most of my degree is minoring in Marketing and Psychology to aid in making me more marketable when it comes to pursuing a career post-graduation. Some may say that majoring in English was a risky move, but no matter what happens, I will not regret it. I am so passionate about the English language and language in general. I have seen what effect words can have and just how powerful they are. I love how majoring in English pushes me to use my critical thinking skills and opens my mind to so many different perspectives. I have also grown so much as a writer by getting firsthand experience in all of the English classes I have taken, and trust me, I have taken a lot. Today, I am pursuing an internship for this very magazine and getting to write this column, which has always been a dream of mine.
I will end by saying to never let someone influence your decision on what you want to do with your life. If I had listened to others, I would be pursuing a major that would ultimately leave me unsatisfied. There is so much you can do with a humanities degree, no matter what people may say. I look forward to my future career, wherever I may end up. I hope you pursue what you are passionate about as well.